Thinking back to the last few episodes of the Vampire Diaries’ sixth season, I renewed my sadness over the loss of Dr. Jo Laughlin and started thinking about some of the other supporting ladies I have loved and lost during my love affair with television. In memorial to those special ladies, I give you my top 5 supporting ladies of sci-fi/fantasy who we lost way too early:
5. Ellen Harvelle – Supernatural (played by Samantha Ferris)
You can go straight back to hell you ugly bitch!-Ellen Harvelle
Sam and Dean sure do have a hard time keeping friends alive… especially in a show which frequently revives lost characters. Ellen and her daughter Jo were among those lost for good, and I was pretty sad to see them go. Bad-ass and motherly at the same time, Ellen had a way of exuding a protective nature and was a nice ally for the Winchesters. Although I feel as though that character slot has been filled a bit by Sheriff Jody Mills, my heart belongs to Ellen.
4. Dr. Jo Laughlin – the Vampire Diaries (played by Jodi Lyn O’Keefe)
This is the part where you say something, or kiss me, or run for the hills.-Jo Laughlin
Man, Alaric just can’t catch a break either. This guy has had a real hard time picking ladies who don’t die. The introduction of Jo into the supernatural fold of Mystic Falls was a little shaky, but Jo really grew on me and I was pretty upset when invisible Kai stabbed the crap out of her AT HER WEDDING… WHILE SHE WAS PREGNANT. I kept waiting for someone to fix her, but I ultimately had to let her go. It was such a bummer… and it left me pretty sad for Alaric who was finally both human and happy. By the end, I really liked Jo, much better than her younger twin siblings. RIP Jo, you will be missed.
3. Petty Officer Anastasia “Dee” Dualla – Battlestar Galactica (played by Kandyse McClure)
You made a promise, to all of us to find earth, to find us a home… together.-Anastasia “Dee” Dualla
While my heartstrings were pulled for so many characters during the series, nothing, not even Cally going out the airlock, made me as sad as when Dee pulled the trigger. The gasp heard ‘round my apartment was followed by 5 seconds of held breath and a high pitched “OH MY GOD!” Dee certainly had her share of hardship on the Galactica, and her failed marriage to Apollo was icing on the cake of destruction. At the end of the day, Dee felt she had nothing left to live for amidst what seemed like a nigh ending of the human race, so she chose to end on a high note. If she had just held on a little longer… /sigh. Petty Officer Dualla, our hearts were broken for you. So say we all.
2. Fred Burkle – Angel (played by Amy Acker)
Wesley, why can’t I stay?-Fred Burkle
WATERWORKS. Ermagewd I cried so much when Fred faded into the background and Illyria appeared. I loved Fred and I loved the whole Wesley/Fred combo. What I loved about Fred was that she was a normal person who was an asset for her wits and uber intelligence instead of some supernatural ability. The other thing I loved about her is how she knew that she was underestimated time and time again and used it to her advantage. Winnifred Burkle, you are gone, but not forgotten.
AND my top tear-jerking, stab-me-in-the-heart, OMG biggest, saddest departure:
1. Tara Maclay – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (played by Amber Benson)
Nobody messes with my girl.-Tara Maclay
The loss of Tara in the last few episodes of season six was a cut so deep the effects lingered through the end of the series. Tara was a strong character, despite her apparent shyness. She was the voice of moral reason countless times during her membership in the Scoobies and her kindness was a powerful force in and of itself. While characters may come and go, especially in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, the death of Tara left a void in the core of the show which added to the many reasons I think the character development in BtVS was so amazing. Although she was gone and life went on for Willow and the rest of the gang, the show did a good job of keeping that loss in the minds of the characters and the viewers. In the episode Conversations with Dead People we saw first-hand the raw emotion that was still present in Willow when the First Evil appeared as Cassie while pretending to speak for Tara. The reminder of Tara in the library brought tears to my eyes as I watched Willow lose all composure. Actually, I am crying right now.
Am I missing anyone? Tell me who you thought was gone too soon from your favorite shows!